A Visit to Maple Country--- Canada
The CN Tower at Toronto
After visiting Niagara Falls from the American side, we crossed the border and entered CanadaTaking lunch in a small town, we then proceeded to Toronto, one of Canada’s largest cities. Upon arrival, we went on a City Orientation Tour to see the new and old City Hall. We visited the downtown campus of the University of Toronto, the Royal Ground of Provincial Parliament House and the Queen’s Park. We saw CN Tower ---the world’s tallest free standing structure.
1. City Hall: The New City Hall of Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the home of the city’s municipal government and one of its most distinctive landmarks. Designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell(1910-1964) in 1958. It was built to replace Old City Hall, which was built in 1899. The two towers are of unequal height as the east to west is taller than the west. The City Hall is nicknamed “The Eye of the Government” because it resembles a large eye in a plan view. Revell(1910-1964) died a year before the New City Hall was completed.
2. Provincial Parliament House: It is a structure in central Toronto, Ontario, that houses the viceregal suite of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and offices for members of the provincial parliament . The building is surrounded by Queen’s Park, sitting on that part south of Wellesley Street, which is the former site of King’s College (later the University of Toronto), and which is leased from the university by the provincial Crown for a "peppercorn" payment of CAD$1 per annum on a 999 year term.
3.University of Toronto: It is a public research university in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated on the grounds that surround Queen’s Park. It was founded by royal charter in 1827 as King’s College, the first institution of higher learning in Upper Canada. Originally controlled by the Church of England, the university assumed the present name in 1850 upon becoming a secular institution. As a collegiate university, it comprises twelve colleges that differ in character and history, each retaining substantial autonomy on financial and institutional affairs. The University of Toronto is ranked lst in Canada and 19th Worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
4. Queen’s Park: It is an urban park in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Opened in 1860 by Edward, Prince of Wales, it was named in honour of Queen Victoria (1819- 1901). The park is the site of the Ontario Legislative Building, which houses the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, The park is nearly an enclave of the University of Toronto, which occupies most of the surrounding lands. The park itself is technically owned by the University of Toronto, but the property was leased to the Government of Ontario in 1859 for a period of 999 years, set to expire in 2858.
Photo taken at Thousand Islands Lake, Canada
Thousand Islands Lake
On the 6th day, we departed Toronto for Thousand Islands Lake and Lake Ontario. These islands are situated between Canada and the United States along St Lawrence River, there are actually 1,864 individual islands that make up the islands Lake. The Canadian islands are in the province of Ontario, whereas the U.S. islands are in the state of New York. We took up the Thousand Islands Cruise. I was very touched indeed to hear the love story of the Boldt Castle.
The Campus of the University of Toronto, Canada.
Afterwards, we proceeded our journey to Ottawa ,the Capital of Canada where we visited the Rideau Canal, Parliament Building, Peace Tower and Centennial Flame.
1.Rideau Canal: The Rideau Canal, also known as the Rideau Waterway, connects the city of Ottawa, Ontario, on the Ottawa River to the city of Kingston, Ontario, on Lake Ontario. The name Rideau, French for "curtain," is derived from the curtain-like appearance of the Rideau River’s twin waterfalls where they join the Ottawa River. The canal was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States and is still in use today, with most of its original structures intact. It is the oldest continuously operated canal system in North America, and in 2007 it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is operated today by Parks Canada as a recreational waterway. The locks on the system open for navigation in mid-May and close in mid-October.
2. Parliament Building: It is also named “Parliament Hill” ,colloquially known as “The Hill” , is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings—the parliament buildings—serves as the home of the Parliament of Canada and contains a number of architectural elements of national symbolic importance. Parliament Hill attracts approximately 3 million visitors each year.
3.Peace Tower: The Peace Tower is a focal bell and clock tower, sitting on the central axis of the Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario. The present incarnation replaced the 55-metre (180 ft) Victoria Tower after the latter burned down in 1916, along with most of the Centre Block; only the library of Parliament survived. It today serves as a Canadian icon and appears on the obverse of both the Canadian fifty-dollar and twenty-dollar bills.
4. Centennial Flame: Located on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario ,the Centennial Flame commemorates Canada’s 100th anniversary as a Confederation. The Flame was first lit as the climax of the centennial celebrations of January 1, 1967. This Centennial Flame was erected as a temporary monument, but due to great public support it still stands today.
The Centennial Flame is encompassed by a fountain into which many visitors to Parliament Hill throw coins for luck.
The Heart Island
St Joseph Basilica. Montreal, Canada.
From Toronto we went to Montreal. Our Montreal sightseeing tour started on the following day with a trip to the foot of Mont Tremblant, part of the majestic Laurentian peaks.the pedestrian village of Mont Tremblant is designed in the style of New France with dormer windows and steep roofs. Here we enjoyed an Exclusive “Panoramic Gondola Ride” to the top of the highest peak of the Laurentian Mountains. At the summit, we all went to the Observation Tower enjoying a breathtaking view of the Laurentian Mountains, nearby lakes and Mont Tremblant Provincial Park. Here we discovered the spectacular view of vibrant reds, oranges and yellows of the autumn tree leaves. We were told that during winter, Mont Tremblant offers manifold activities such as dog-sledding, ice-climbing, snowmobiling and many more. We had a happy time there.
Travelling back to Montreal, we walked on the old cobbles stone streets of Vieux Montreal, Old Port and Notre-Dame Basilica. The Basilica’s huge dome reaches 97 meters and is second only in height to St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. We then proceeded to Mount Royal Park for a scenic lookout which offered a striking view of the downtown area and the Olympic Stadium. St Joseph Oratory.located at the top of Mount Royal, is by far the world’s most visited shrines.
1.Mont Tremblant: It is a year round resort in the Laurentian Mountains, about 130 km northwest of Montreal. It is best known as a ski destination, but also features a lake suitable for swimming and two golf courses in the summer months. The name of the mountain, Mont Tremblant, was derived from the local Algonquin natives, who called it the "trembling mountain." The summit is at an elevation of 875 metres (2,871 ft), which makes it one of the tallest peaks in the Laurentians.
2. Laurentian Mountains:The Laurentian Mountains are a mountain range in southern Quebec, Canada, north of the St. Lawrence River and Ottawa River, rising to a highest point of 1166 metres (3,825 feet) at Mont Raoul Blanchard, north east of Quebec City in the Reserve Faunique des Laurentides. The Laurentian Mountain range is one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.
3. Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal): Vieux Montreal is a French name. In English, it is called Old Montreal. It is the oldest area in the city of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, dating back to New France. It also includes the Old Port of Montreal. Most of Old Montreal was declared an historic district in 1964 by the Ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec.
4.Notre-Dame Basilica: Notre-Dame Basilica is a basilica in the historic district of Old Montreal, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The church ’s Gothic Revival architecture is among the most dramatic in the world; its interior is grand and colourful, its ceiling is coloured deep blue and decorated with golden stars, and the rest of the sanctuary is a polychrome of blues, , reds, purples, silver, and gold. It is filled with hundreds of intricate wooden carvings and several religious statues.
5. Mount Royal Park: Mount Royal is a hill in the city of Montreal, immediately west of downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the city to which it gave its name.
6.Olympic Stadium: The Olympic Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium built as the main venue for the 1976 Summer Olympics. The stadium is nicknamed "The Big Owe", a reference to both its name and to the doughnut-shape of the permanent component of the stadium’s roof; "The Big Owe" has been used to reference the astronomical cost of the stadium and the 1976 Olympics as a whole. The stadium is the largest by seating capacity in Canada. Unfortunely, the stadium has a history of financial and structural problems and is largely seen as a white elephant. The tower incorporated into the base of the stadium, called the Montreal Tower, is the tallest inclined tower in the world at 175 metres (574 ft).
7.St Joseph Oratory: It is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and national shrine on the west slope of Mount Royal in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was built in 1904 as a small chapel. Soon the growing number of visitors made it too small. It was enlarged with a seating capacity of 1000 and was finally completed in 1967.
Father Paul Bellot(1876-1944), an architect, completed the dome of Saint Joseph’s Oratory (1937-39). The Oratory’s dome is the third-largest of its kind in the world after the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro in the Ivory Coast and Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and the church is the largest in Canada.
The basilica is dedicated to Saint Joseph, to whom Brother André (1845-1937) credited all his reported miracles. These were mostly related to some kind of healing power, and many pilgrims (handicapped, blind, ill, etc.) poured into his Basilica, including numerous Protestants. On display in the basilica is a wall covered with thousands of crutches from those who came to the basilica and were allegedly healed. Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) deemed the miracles to be authentic and beatified Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) in 1982. In October 2010 Pope Benedict XVI(1927-) canonized the saint.
A reliquary in the church museum contains Brother André (1845-1937) heart, which he requested as a protection for the basilica. More than 2 million visitors and pilgrims visit the Oratory every year.
Old Quebec City
Photo taken at Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, Canada.
On the 8th day of our trip to USA East Coast and Canada , we left Montreal and travelled to Quebec City, one of the oldest cities in North America. Old Quebec City is a city surrounded by walls. It is a city that will take one back to 250 years to the historical landmarks of the first French Settlement in America. The Tour Guide took us to enjoy a Walking Tour in Old Quebec City including Place d' Armes,Plains of Abraham, Chateau Frontenac and Mural Wall.
1.Old Quebec City: It is a historic neighbourhood of Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec in Canada. Comprising the Upper Town and Lower Town , the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We visited the Fortifications of Quebec and Citadel, the city’s two main defensive works.Moving from military history to religious history, there are also quite a lot of churches there, namely: Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica-Cathedral, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, the Jesuits Chapel, and St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.
2.Place d’ Arms: Place d’ Aerm is the second oldest public site in Montreal, it was called Place de la Fabrique when it was first developed in 1693, at the request of the Sulpicians, then later renamed Place d’Armes in 1721 when it became the stage of various military events. From 1781 to 1813, it was used as a hay and wood market, then developed as a Victorian garden after it was acquired by the city in 1836.
3. Plains of Abraham:The Plains of Abraham is a historic area within the Battlefields Park in Quebec City, Quebec, that was originally a grazing land, but became famous as the site of the Battle of The Plains of Abraham , which took place on 13 September 1759. Though written into the history books, housing and minor industrial structures were still erected atop hundreds of acres of the fields. Only in 1908 was the land ceded to Quebec City, though administered by the specifically created and federally run National Battlefields Commission. The park is today used by 4 million visitors and tourists annually for sports, relaxation, outdoor concerts, and festivals.
4.The Château Frontenac: It is a grand hotel in Quebec City, Quebec, which is currently operated as Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1980. Prior to the building of the hotel, the site was occupied by the Chateau Haldimand, residence of the British Colonial Governors of Lower Canada and Quebec.
5. Wall Mural: A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.
6.Parliament Building:The Parliament Building is an eight-floor building and home to the Parliament of Quebec in Quebec City. The building was built from 1877 to 1886.